Founder Emeritus Mark Beachy was a proud supporter (and still is) of the Cappies. MD Theatre Guide continues this tradition by supporting and and publishing reviews of these up-and-coming writers. We are also honored to have an award in our name—Maryland Theater Guide Returning Critic Award.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you became interested in theater. Why do you think theater is important?
I am currently a senior at McLean High School. I first got involved in theater in elementary school by acting in productions at my school. Initially theater was a space that I was able to connect with other people and that is why I was drawn to it. I think theater is important because it does allow for connections between people. It establishes an environment where creativity is embraced and differing perspectives and experiences are welcomed.
What were the challenges for your high school theater department during the pandemic?
Our 2020 spring production was canceled. That was a disappointing moment for our department, however, our costume head was able to sew masks out of fabric purchased for the show. Luckily, in the 2020-2021 school year, we were able to put on multiple productions using a combination of live streaming, prerecorded virtual shows, and filmed plays acted on our stage. There was difficulty balancing COVID safety precautions and trying to communicate relationships on stage, but coming back this school year, our department is currently rehearsing our third production and we have learned how to overcome these challenges.
Do you prefer acting, writing, or public relations?
I prefer public relations the most. I head publicity for my school’s department and it allows for the most creativity between running the social media accounts and designing graphics. I am able to decide how to portray the show to the public and make an impression on the audience before the production even begins. It also allows me to communicate to the largest audience. With public relations, many more people are able to see the advertising yard signs as they drive by or scroll through photos I have taken on our Instagram account.
Will your studies in college be theater-focused?
I am not planning on studying anything theater-related in college. I am pursuing a concentration in Environmental Policy. However, I am hoping that I can be involved in the marketing aspects of the theater department at the college I attend next year.
What was it like to win the Maryland Theater Guide Returning Critic Award for 2021?
Winning the Maryland Theater Guide Returning Critic Award last year was incredibly exciting. Cappies was a very unique experience during the 2020-2021 school year because we were solely virtual and were not able to attend as many shows as in previous years. This made winning the award even more thrilling as I was unsure of what to expect.
MD Theatre Guide wishes Clare all the best in her future endeavors!